We have been hosting the UNCF HBCU Innovation Summit in Silicon Valley for the past three years. Our data indicates a clear upward trend. The results are both positive and gratifying. Our students are moving on to new horizons in Tech Ecosystems across the country…
They are now transitioning not only to Silicon Valley but in budding ecosystems including Austin, Texas, Portland, Oregon and Seattle Washington.
Ponder that for a moment, “Techies” from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), the majority in the south and midwest, making their way across the country and bringing fresh, powerful new ideas and perspectives to tech companies diversifying their workforce. That’s powerful stuff!
118 Students from over 25 HBCUs participated in the 2014 and 2015 UNCF HBCU Innovation Summits. 93% of the students are computer science, engineering and information technology majors. Of those 118 HBCU techies, 30 respondents are now interning or working full time at Tech Companies in the United States…continue to follow #HBCUInnovation as we continue to capture and record dozens of additional student success stories.
Let’s have a look at a few of our fellows: take 2015 Summit Fellow, Aaliyah Griffin, a rising Senior at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA. Griffin was awarded an internship at Pandora in Oakland, CA this summer. Anthony Washington, a recent Graduate of Tuskegee University in Alabama, is now a full-time Cloud Software Engineer at Intel in San Antonio, Texas. Richard “Scooter” Taylor, a recent graduate of Morehouse College, Atlanta, has joined a new startup in Silicon Valley managing marketing and branding.
Babatunde Fashola, a graduate of Morgan State is a Full-time Software Engineer at Twitter. Attiyah Lanier, of Howard University, is interning this summer as a Software Engineer at Intel in Phoenix, Arizona. Ifreke Okpokowuruk, a 2014 & 2015 HBCU Innovation Summit participant in addition to HBCU ICE Hack at the Atlanta University Center, is now working full time at Google as a Software Engineer. Brianna Fugate, rising Junior, CS major at Spelman College is now a Code2040 Fellow at Intel.
One particular HBCU Innovation Summit fellow, Lusenii Kromah, Web Development Intern at Adobe in San Francisco created a GroupMe Group titled, Black Valley, for all Black San Francisco Bay area interns. The Group now has over 400 tech-related members. That’s 400 African Americans readily accessible and available for Tech Companies to hire and members are poised to create companies of their own. This group is one example of a grassroots effort bridging the diversity divide in Silicon Valley.
There is tons of Technical talent at HBCUs and students like these need exposure, mentors, and professional development. Most importantly, they need access to networks outside of their reach. We continue to serve as the link for access to these networks.